Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gulf seafood safe to eat

"...despite millions of gallons of oil and chemical dispersants gushing into the water, federal officials said Tuesday."

This according to the Panama City (Florida)

The safety of Gulf seafood is a big subject that will grow in importance. I hope the conversation is more informative and credible than this type of blanket assurance without anything to back it up.

In fact, things may not be quite so rosy. According to the Congressional Research Service, a highly credible source of information, there may be contamination risks that have not yet been fully studied following the oil and chemical spills caused by Hurrican Katrina.

There is concern over the long-term contamination of fisheries through the food chain. Toxins released to the environment through flooding may accumulate through the food chain into the tissues of fish. Bioaccumulative toxins such as lead and mercury have been detected in floodwaters that are now being pumped in Lake Pontchartrain. The timeline for bioaccumulation is uncertain, and depends on the amount of toxins released, where they were released, and whether the release was in specific areas or diffuse.

Another credible report found continued risk of chronic low level contamination of seafood in Alaska, 18 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill there.

Sadly, there is much more to come on the issue of Gulf seafood contamination. We need thorough studies and complete transparency, the public has a right to know and the Gulf seafood industry will only thrive in a climate of open and full disclosure.

No comments: